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UTjournal The Publication for The University of Tampa winter 2011

from vision to reality The Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values

president’s message

Building the Mind, Body and Spirit This is a remarkable time in UT’s history, as we opened four new buildings on campus during the fall 2010 semester. These buildings — and the education that will be provided by faculty and staff within them — represent the well-rounded experience on which UT prides itself — educating the whole person academically, physically and spiritually. We recently opened the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values, which will make a profound and lasting impact on UT students for generations to come. This facility has been in the campus master plan since 1996, and today we have a stunning interfaith center with the focus of helping students understand world religions and cultures, build their own character, develop a sense of purpose and self-awareness through reflection and learn to make decisions based on principles, beliefs and values. Along with UT’s rigorous academics and experiential education, I believe this guidance is extremely important for students. In our fast-paced, turbulent and information-saturated world, providing students a peaceful, yet awe-inspiring space where they can reflect, learn and engage one another is critical to students’ personal self-development and preparation for the future. It’s an exceptional facility, and I thank John and Susan Sykes, Gene and Patsy McNichols, and others for their unrelenting commitment to UT. We also opened two new academic buildings. The first, the Kennedy Building, houses faculty offices, classrooms and offices for providing language services to international students. The second, the Cass Science Annex, enhances UT’s strong presence in biology and chemistry with state-of-the-art laboratories, offices and a general use classroom. We’ve seen tremendous growth in our physical sciences and pre-professional programs, and this building accommodates that growth. The building also serves as the foundation for future additions. Not only is UT committed to the mind and spirit, but the body as well. In order for students to think well, they need to feel well. The Dickey Health and Wellness Center is now the campus epicenter of personal well-being. However, it’s not just about administering flu shots and easing colds. The building houses much of the infrastructure of the campus’ wellness programming. Everything students do, think, feel and believe has an impact on their state of health and mind, so we’ve developed model wellness programming based on prevention, intervention, support and education. These hundreds of programs include such topics as personal safety, tobacco cessation, nutrition and fitness counseling and stress relief. I thank Dr. Stephen F. and Marsha Dickey for their support and their deep understanding of the needs of our students. Read further to learn more about these buildings, and I welcome you to campus to see our progress in person. We can truly say that at UT we develop the whole person with a well-rounded, meaningful education. Ronald L. Vaughn, Ph.D. President



Robin Roger DESIGNER





Jessica Burns ’04, M.S. ’08, Eric Cárdenas, David Hanson ’89, Jay Hardwick, Tom Kolbe, Jamie Pilarczyk, Taylor Albertson Pinke, Bill Roth CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Jessica Burns ’04, M.S. ’08, George Cott, Peter Finger, FJ Gaylor Photography, Christine Goodwin ’10, Kimberly Photography LLC, Liz Kreutz, Jessica Leigh, Alex McKnight, Melanie R. Munger ’10, Jamie Pilarczyk, Taylor Albertson Pinke, Bob Thompson DUPLICATE MAILINGS

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contents WINTER 2011 VOL. XXVI, NO. 2


news of note A new health and wellness center opens, the truth about stretching, the Class of 2014, volleyball player overcomes tragedy.

26 alumni report Homecoming and reunions, trip to Costa Rica, class notes...and more

features cover story

10 From Vision to Reality

The Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values was dedicated with fanfare.

15 The Search for Meaning

UT students seek life’s higher purpose through programming, reflection and fellowship.

36 brick by brick Financial planners – the GPS for your future


18 Taking a Sabbatical from Life David Hanson ’89 throws himself into his research, taking a three-month trek in search of sanity.

21 From Combat to Classroom UT eases the transition for veterans who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

ABOUT THE COVER: Jenna McMahon ’11 contemplates inside the new Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values. Photo by Bob Thompson.

40 minaret moment Muster the troops. UTJOURNAL WINTER 2011 1

news of note

Happenings on campus and in the community

The new center will focus as much on advocating healthy lifestyles as treating common colds.

Getting Better All the Time The new Stephen F. and Marsha Dickey Health and Wellness Center opens to rave reviews UT has taken one more step toward educating the whole student with the Stephen F. and Marsha Dickey Health and Wellness Center, which was dedicated Oct. 28. The addition reflects the investment UT leaders and contributors are making to connect education and wellness. For the center’s director, Sharon Schaefer, the new building increases the opportunities to serve students. “The new health and wellness center is much bigger, brighter and will eventually be more efficient,” said Schaefer, noting that there are now three times as many examination rooms as the old center and that medi2  UTjournal  winter 2011

cal records will be kept electronically. “It’s state of the art, and that’s where we need to be. It’s a wonderful blessing from Dr. Dickey.” When the former Student Health Center building was acquired by the University in 1997, UT had approximately 2,800 students. Today, UT has 6,500 students. As such, demand for services increased exponentially. One semester the staff delivered nearly 1,000 flu shots. Last year, the staff saw more than 1,000 patients a month. The new two-story center totals 10,300 square feet and includes a waiting area, eight exam rooms, a triage space, pharmacy, staff offices, holding

rooms, counseling offices, conference rooms and a group counseling room. The building is UT’s second candidate for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. “It’s beautiful,” said Schaefer of the color pattern, chosen to reflect a water theme. “When you walk into a building that gives you a professional feel, it gives you confidence in your care, and you have higher expectations.” The center also includes office space for faculty, staff and students who support wellness programs on campus. The programs focus on social, physical, spiritual and emotional wellness and include such activities

“It’s state of the art, and that’s where we need to be.” —sharon schaefer, director on the new Health and wellness center

as Diversity Fellowship, tobacco cessation classes and nutrition and fitness programming. “The University of Tampa recognizes that students have physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs,” said Bob Ruday, dean of students. “This facility will be a hub for educational resources and advocacy and will work with other University departments to feature the hundreds of wellness related topics so students will feel well so that they can think well.” Chris McCarthy, president of Student Government, has used the health center in the past but thinks the new facility will encourage more students to take advantage of this campus asset. “The new wellness center will have a positive impact on members of the student body,” said McCarthy ’11. “This facility provides an important service to the campus, and students are happy to know that the center will be able to accommodate all aspects of their wellness.”

The Gift of Health The Dickeys have been committed to good health for 40 years The Health and Wellness Center was made possible in party by a generous gift by Dr. Stephen F. and Marsha Dickey. Dr. Dickey was named Trustee Emeritus in 2010, an honor conferred upon former trustees who have “rendered extraordinary service to the University.” His service to UT began in 1995, shortly after Dr. Ronald L. Vaughn became president. Dickey graduated from Indiana University Medical School in 1970. He is the founder, president and CEO of Doctor’s Walk-In Clinics Inc. and was St. Joseph’s Emergency Department director. In 2008 he received the Vaughn Humanitarian Award for his service to the Red Cross of Tampa Bay. Ernst & Young named him 2009 Regional Entrepreneur of the Year. Marsha Dickey earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana University and taught second

Dr. Stephen F. and Marsha Dickey

grade in Indianapolis before moving to Tampa with her husband. Since then, she has been active in many community groups, including the Chiselers, Red Cross Angels, Berkeley Preparatory School Parents’ Club and the Friends of Hospice.

New Buildings Open for Business The Kennedy Building at 701 W. Kennedy Blvd. was renovated to make space for the new ELS Language Center, where international students can improve their language skills before enrolling at UT. These students have fulfilled all other requirements of admission to UT. The University also opened a new Science Annex, located near the Cass Building, which features an organic chemistry lab, a chemistry research lab and offices on the second floor; a biology research lab on the first floor; and faculty offices and a 35-seat general use classroom also on the first floor. The Science Annex achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The building received certification by reducing waste during construction, improving energy efficiency by 25 percent and providing better air quality.

UTjournal  winter 2011  3

news of note

It’s Not a Stretch Research finds stretching before a run can hurt performance When Jacob Wilson told a coach that his athletes may be hurting their performance by stretching before a workout, the coach actually got angry. “The perception is so ingrained,” said Wilson, assistant professor of exercise science and sport studies. “Coaches have been stretching their athletes for years. It’s just what they do. To tell them that it’s wrong is shocking.” But that’s just what Wilson found in his study, where he looked at the effects of stretching before a run on

performance and endurance. He found that those who didn’t stretch before running ran farther and were more efficient, meaning they expended fewer calories. In the study 10 runners did the same hour-long run on two separate days, stretching before one, and sitting quietly before another. In the first half of each run, participants kept a steady pace, and researchers found those who stretched before the workout burned 5 percent more calories. For the second half, runners Wilson recommends stretching, but only after a workout.

ran as far as they could for 30 minutes. The runners who didn’t stretch went 3.4 percent farther. The reason, Wilson explained, is that muscles and tendons store and release elastic energy when they’re stiff. Just like a rubber band, tendons release energy when they are let go. If they are stretched out, the stiffness, or tension, is lessened, and they have less energy to release. “If you deflate a basketball, and you drop it, it’s not going to bounce as high,” Wilson said. More muscle force is then needed, because the passive tissues aren’t helping as much. Efficiency decreases with performance. “We’re changing the perception overall,” he said. “People might think twice about stretching before they run.” Previous research has focused on stretching’s effect on sprinting or vertical jumping, but Wilson’s was the first study to show the effect on endurance performance. He thinks the effects are more pronounced earlier on, and that muscle activation is also hampered. He’d like to test these theories in the UT human performance lab, which has new equipment to measure muscle activation. Wilson has started building a team of students to conduct research. He hopes they will present their original research as early as June. Wilson’s study was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and has been featured in WebMD Health News, Wired magazine and ABC news.

Meet lucky This fall, UT launched a safety campaign featuring a happy-go-lucky character named Lucky, who deals with issues such as sexual health and traffic safety. The campaign raises students’ awareness of hazardous situations while using a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. For more information, visit 4 utjournal winter 2011


Frorup drew inspiration for her art from the colorful sights and sounds of africa.

Warm Heart Art Transforms Assistant Professor The first thing Kendra Frorup noticed upon arriving in Tanzania was the stark contrast of dusty and dry winter landscape against the bold and vibrant colors of the fabrics draping the people. “It was so amazing,” Frorup said. “I’m definitely going back.” Frorup ’92, an assistant professor of art, spent three weeks last summer studying on the African continent. The recipient of a David Delo Research grant, Frorup was one of three artists staying at the Warm Heart Art nongovernmental organization, including Barbara Stubbs ’08. Frorup studied paper making, the local Masai culture and the sights, sounds and smells of everyday life. Frorup explored papermaking using local materials – mulberry and fig tree bark, banana leaves, cotton fibers from mills and old clothes, corn husks and okra. “I experimented with imbedding beads and went to a junkyard to get discarded materials like wire, which I connected to the paper,” said Frorup who’d like to offer papermaking as part of her advanced sculpture class at UT.

Frorup is organizing a presentation for Black History Month at UT and showed some of her work this fall at the Liverpool Biennial in London, the U.K.’s largest festival of contemporary visual art. While this Tanzanian experience has had an impact on Frorup’s art, she said it has also affected her as an individual. “It was life-changing,” she said.

a group of Rotc cadets from ut’s spartan Battalion competed in the 2010 Ranger challenge competition this october and finished first among small schools. the competition was held on the grounds of u.s. army Ranger school in Fort Benning, ga, and featured 45 teams from universities in ut’s brigade, which hail from Florida, georgia, alabama, Louisiana, mississippi and puerto Rico. the competition is designed to challenge cadets mentally and physically, enhance leader development and develop team cohesion. the university of georgia won the large school title, but out of all teams, ut had the fastest time for the hand grenade assault course and won the “warrior stick” for the team that best embodied the Warrior ethos. see page 21 for a feature on veterans at ut.

ut adds honor socIetY the Phi Kappa Phi Board of Directors approved Ut’s petition for a chapter this fall at the society’s biennial convention in Kansas City, MO. Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. each year, approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni are initiated into the society, which was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine. its chapters are on nearly 300 campuses in the U.S., Puerto rico and the Philippines. Some of the organization’s most notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State Hillary rodham Clinton, writer John Grisham and netscape founder James Barksdale. Membership to Phi Kappa Phi is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. Ut joins more than a dozen other chapters in Florida, including the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami, University of South Florida and University of Central Florida.

utjournal winter 2011 5

news of note

Get in Gear UT launches new bike share program This fall UT launched a free bike sharing program, BikeUT, to promote physical activity and sustainable transportation. Through the program, students, faculty and staff can rent one of 16 bicycles for the day. There is no cost, unless you bring the bike back late. Bikes can be used for recreation, such as rides along Bayshore Boulevard, and to go to off-campus meetings or class. All bicycle rentals include a helmet and bike lock. “BikeUT allows faculty, students and staff an alternative to driving when making short-distance trips during the work and school day,” said Katie White, assistant director of campus recreation. “And, it addresses important issues such as health and environmental sustainability, transportation alternatives and promoting community building on campus.” The Department of Campus Recreation manages the program and maintains the bikes with support from City Bike Tampa, a local bike shop. The program is also supported by Student Government. For more information, and to watch a video, visit

the class of 2014


applications submitted


freshmen enrolled

3 valedictorians, 1 salutatorian 13% international students New Countries —Ghana, South Africa, Moldova, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Rwanda

20% honors students nOtABLe nAMeS: Lilly and chloe, daughters of popular Boston DJ Matt Siegel from the Matty in the Morning Show on Kiss 108. Julia steinbrenner – George Steinbrenner’s granddaughter Rachel Welch—national American Miss Massachusetts Junior teen 2008 264 new graduate students ■ top countries: india, China, Germany, Kuwait ■ new countries: Bulgaria, Slovakia, Mozambique

syKes coLLege oF Business ceLeBRates 10 yeaRs the John H. sykes college of Business threw

1 MBA student was runner-up Miss indiana

a 10-year anniversary party this fall to commemorate the renaming of the college and the multi-million dollar gift from John H. and susan sykes that converted the old mcKay auditorium into the state-of-the art college building. Frank ghannadian, dean of the college, and president Ronald L. Vaughn were on hand to thank the sykes for their generous support. ghannadian, along with Jim Fesmire, dana professor of economics, and Jessica moran, president of delta sigma pi, presented a framed gift to the sykes in appreciation of their contributions. 6 utjournal winter 2011

Refer a friend to UT. Tell them to visit

spartan sports Vanderhall ’11 helped lead ut to a conference championship and second place finish in the national championship.

Eager Senior Father’s death didn’t deter Vanderhall from living her dream The thought of taking this season off had crossed Melissa Vanderhall’s mind. The UT standout senior volleyball player hadn’t had time to fully absorb the magnitude of the events that had recently occurred. In June, her father, Bobby Vanderhall, died from a heart attack at the age of 57. Her mother, Lynn, remains in Hempstead, NY, grieving and taking care of Melissa’s older brother, who has schizophrenia. “I would love to just stop, go home and be with my mom and to stop everything, but I can’t do that,” Vanderhall said. Vanderhall was the top player on PHOtOGrAPH BY JAY nOLAn/TAMPA TRIBUNE

the Spartans’ volleyball team, which competed in the national championship. So, Vanderhall carried on. In her heart, she knew her father wouldn’t allow her to give up on the dreams they made as a family. “He made me want to keep going,” she said. “He didn’t get to go to college. He lived through me, and I enjoyed it. I love playing, and I loved playing for him.” Vanderhall will leave UT as one of its most decorated and inspirational athletes, something she couldn’t foresee as an incoming freshman five years ago. She wanted to play in Florida,

but as a 5-foot-8 outside hitter who played for a losing program and had little exposure in high school, her offers to play at the next level were slim. Vanderhall took a chance and sent her highlight video to UT. To her surprise, Spartans coach Chris Catanach was impressed. “We had her (come to Tampa to) work out for us, and she was very fast and naturally strong,” Catanach said. “She wasn’t very skilled. Her first two years, we were wondering if it was going to happen, and it finally did.” Vanderhall redshirted her freshman season in 2006, the same season the Spartans captured their only national championship. Although she was thrilled to be on a championship team, she struggled with being at the bottom of the depth chart. “I thought my redshirt year was the lowest of lows,” she said. “I had nothing to lose. I was already at the bottom. I just went after it.” Improving became her focus. If she had class at 10 a.m., she was in the gym at 8 a.m., working on her serve. As a redshirt freshman in 2007, Vanderhall played in 32 matches and started 18, earning Sunshine State Conference All-Freshman Team honors. In 2008, she led the team with 381 kills and was named Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year, Daktronics South Region Player of the Year and an American Volleyball Coaches Association first-team AllAmerican. Last season, she led the SSC with 416 kills and ranked 24th in the nation in hitting percentage (.360) and 19th in kills per set (3.92). She again was selected SSC Player of the Year, South Region Player of the Year and an AVCA first-team All-American. “Melissa has worked for everything (Continued) utjournal winter 2011 7

news of note

(Continued from page 7) she’s got,” Catanach said. “Nothing has been handed to her. Her strong work ethic is a trait she got from her father. “He was one of 18 children,” Vanderhall said. “From the beginning, they had to support themselves, so I think that’s where I got it from.” “I see so much of him in her,” said Lynn Vanderhall. “Every time I look at her.” During the summer, Bobby had surgery to have an artery removed from his leg. A few hours after surgery, there were complications. He died June 13. The aftermath has been difficult. “When I came back (to Tampa) in July, it was easier than it is now,” she said. “I had coaching camp with little kids all day and it kept my mind off it. My older brother has schizophrenia, so my mom has to stay with him. Then I’m here, I’m going to school, I have matches and then I have an expectation I’m trying to maintain.” “It’s been really hard,” Lynn said. “This has been a dream we both had for her, all the way through. Our lives have revolved around her playing volleyball. We’d fly down there four or five times a year, we’d plan our days watching it on the computer. This is her father’s dream. But she’s strong and she’s making me strong.” During his 27 years as coach at UT, Catanach has never had a player lose a parent. “Her dad just worshiped her,” he said. “This was a rare bond.” “He’s watching her,” Lynn said. “He’s making her jump higher.” Vanderhall finished what she started. It’s all her father could have hoped for. “He was my biggest fan,” Melissa said. “I need to do it for him.” —Nick Williams

This article first appeared in the Tampa Tribune on Oct. 13, 2010. 8 utjournal winter 2011

the women will golf at Rogers park golf course, near Busch gardens.

woMen of ut tee off Ut is starting a women’s golf program, increasing its number of varsity athletic teams to 17. “with women’s golf, we are able to expand the opportunities to more individuals,” said Athletic Director Larry Marfise. “it also gives more students the ability to benefit from the intangibles that come with being a member of a team.” the team will compete at rogers Park Golf Course, which is also the home course for the Ut men’s program. Ut hired Missey Jones to be the head coach. Jones brings more than 23 years of experience as a coach and teacher in the U.S., Brazil, Costa rica and the Canary islands. “we are very excited to have someone with her coaching background and ability,” said Marfise. “She will be a great fit for the University.” A graduate of east tennessee State University, Jones was a standout women’s basketball player

for the Bucs. She went on to coach collegiately at etSU, the University of Houston and Colorado State University. Jones also coached professional basketball in Brazil. in addition to coaching, Jones has taught english and Spanish at primary, secondary and university levels. Fluent in english, Spanish and Portuguese, she has developed internet-based learning programs and a student advisor program. with a bachelor’s degree in physical education from east tennessee, Jones also earned a master’s in english grammar for foreigners at the Universidade de Santanna in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She also holds a master’s in Spanish from the University of South Florida. “Ut has provided me a great opportunity to pursue my passion for the game of golf,” says Jones. “i am looking forward to bringing together a group of talented golfers to represent such a fine institution.”

Athletes Inducted to Hall of Fame

the 1992 NCAA World Series all-tournament team, he was a member of the 1992 and 1993 national championship teams. apRiL Lindsey ’97

UT inducted nine former athletes, two contributors and a national championship team to its Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet on Oct. 14. Longtime supporter Rick Thomas ’72 was also honored with the Sam Bailey Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony, which took place on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center. Each inductee was present, along with several members of the 1994 national championship men’s soccer team. The contributors were longtime UT athletics supporters Anthony Borrell and former national championship golf coach Chuck Winship. “This is an outstanding group of individuals who are great ambassadors of the University,” said Athletic Director Larry Marfise. “We are thrilled to welcome this group, who will carry on the tradition of the Hall of Fame.”

career on the basketball team with 956 points and 767 rebounds. antHony BoRReLL

Borrell is a longtime supporter of UT athletics and previously served as chairman of the athletic board at the University. He established a very generous endowment for the athletic program and a separate endowment for the University.

gingeR Lynn ’03

A member of the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame, Lynn became Tampa’s first All-American for women’s soccer in 2001. She was also the SSC Player of the Year in 2001.

cindy Jones ’88

Jones won two national titles in swimming, placing first in the 200 Fly and the 400 Free Relay in 1987. She was also an All-American.

aLLison macsas ’05

Macsas was named All-American in cross country in 2003 and 2004. She was SSC Runner of the Year from 2003-2005.

dean KeLLey ’87

Kelley was a third-team All-American baseball player and member of the NCAA II World Series all-tournament team.

cHucK andReWs ’66

Andrews set school records in points, points per game, free throws and rebounds. He finished his two year

Lindsey was named 1996 Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year for women’s basketball and earned honorable mention All-American status. She holds three school records.

cHRistopHeR suLLiVan ’87

Sullivan was a first-team All-American, a first-team all-South Region performer and a first-team all-SSC selection in men’s soccer.

Rodd KeLLey ’94

Rodd Kelley was a first-team AllAmerican baseball player. A member of

RicK tHomas ’72

Thomas is a Spartan Hall of Famer in football who has maintained his support of UT athletics for decades. donna (HoWe) WiLLiams ’84

Williams set an NCAA record in swimming while winning a national championship in the 200 Fly in 1982. She was also a three-time All-American from 1981-1983. cHucK WinsHip

spaRtans on ice the ut hockey team kicked off its inaugural season with a win. though a club sport, the team will compete against division iii teams. stephen Kucera, associate professor of biology, is the coach and eric sikorski, assistant biology professor, is the assistant coach.

Winship was a three-time Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year and guided Tampa to seven SSC Championships in golf. He was also a threetime NCAA Division II Coach of the Year from 1986 to 1988 and led Tampa to the NCAA II National Championship in 1987 and 1988. utjournal winter 2011 9

From Vision to reality An inspiring new campus center is intended to strengthen students’ character and values. photographs by george cott and bob thompson

The main hall of the sykes Chapel has movable seating for 260.

“It’s difficult to understand the world and different cultures without an understanding of world religions.” — president ronald l. vaughn The 50 granite blocks that make up the walls of the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values started out in a mountain in China. Nearly 280 tons altogether, the blocks were shipped in 17 vessels to the United States, either east through the Panama Canal or west through the Suez Canal. Each voyage took 30 days. The marble, lime and terracotta mixture used to make the Venetian plaster on the arched gallery walls came from Italy. The art glass was hand-blown in eastern Germany then sent to a glass studio near Frankfurt to be painted by one of the best glass painters in the world. It’s only fitting that materials would come from all over the world to build the chapel, a center that’s intended to nurture a better understanding of diversity, world cultures and religions, and to encourage cooperation among people of all faiths. “In a world without walls it is important that UT provide a strong, internationally focused education,” says President Ronald L. Vaughn. “It’s difficult to understand the world and different cultures without an understanding of world religions.” Purpose

Vaughn recognized early in his tenure the need to enrich the educational environment. In fact, the interfaith chapel/center was included in his first University master plan approved by the Board of Trustees in 1996. The UT president has long believed the holistic development of students would be enhanced by programs and a facility that helped students examine and reflect on the kind of person they wanted to be and the purpose of their lives. His beliefs were reinforced by several national studies that documented the need for greater focus on character, values and spiritual development as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education. In fact, a recent UCLA study found that spiritual growth was

linked to better academic performance and personal outcomes, including improved leadership skills. It is unusual for an independent, nonsectarian university to have a chapel and center for faith and values. But it is believed having such a place will elevate the intellectual discourse and improve the quality of life for everyone; not just on campus, but also in the Tampa Bay community. Through a growing UT Community Partners Program, more than 30

partnerships with community places of worship in the Tampa Bay area have been developed. Community partnership leaders meet with UT student groups monthly to conduct worship services, discuss issues and support other campus spiritual needs. A Resource Team for Faith, Values and Spirituality has been created to plan programming that will strengthen students’ development through character-building and spiritual development and improved religious literacy. Last

The Benefactors The chapel was made possible through a lead gift by John and Susan Sykes. John Sykes, a longtime benefactor who funded the Vaughn Center and the UT Center for Ethics, is the namesake for the John H. Sykes College of Business. He is founder and chairman emeritus of Tampa-based Sykes Enterprises Inc., a global leader in the business process outsourcing and customer contact management. He is on UT’s Board of Trustees and is chair emeritus, and he has received an honorary doctorate from UT in business administration and humane letters. Susan Sykes is president of the John H. Sykes Foundation and serves on the board of trustees of The Straz Center for Performing Arts, as well as the Straz Center’s Foundation Board. She also serves on the board of advisors for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and is a founding member of their Women in Action group. The couple’s belief in the interfaith chapel/center project and in the University began a ripple effect to more than 150 other project donors, including current chair of the Board of Trustees Gene McNichols. McNichols and his family also made a generous gift to support the chapel. Gene McNichols is chairman and CEO of McNichols Company, the nation’s leading metal service center specializing in metal with holes. McNichols is also the current chair of the UT Board of Trustees. Gene and his wife, Patsy, are passionate about their Christian ministry work and are on the board of directors of Radical Life Christian Ministries serving the people of Costa Rica. (From left) Gene and Patsy McNichols and John and Susan Sykes at the chapel ribbon-cutting on Dec. 10. UTjournal  winter 2011  13

fall the team launched a Spirituality and Film Series, a book club, a valuesbased retreat and Community Conversations, in which faculty, staff and students discuss values, spirituality, culture and traditions. This spring the University will host guest speaker Eboo Patel, executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, an organization focused on building a global, interfaith youth movement. Patel, a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is also the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. “Having such a beautiful facility in the heart of campus reminds everyone that a full existence has multiple components: intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual,” says Joseph Sclafani, professor of psychology and Resource Team member. Design

The design of the chapel is expressed as two praying hands, sheltering the space within and allowing light to pass between them. There are many unusual elements that make the chapel one-ofa-kind. The custom-made door handles on the entrance door and the custom seating both echo the distinctive shape of the building. A multi-colored wood labyrinth is inlaid on the floor of a meditation room. In the center of the

At left: the Sykes Chapel has two meditation rooms and a meeting room. Above: the 7-ton granite sculpture in the meditation garden was made in South Carolina.

Sykes Meditation Garden sits a 7-ton Georgia “Dixie Blue” granite, shell rock sculpture with a bronze “Infinite Faith” mobius emerging from its center. The art glass in the meditation rooms and doorways was designed by Guy Kemper, an internationally known glass artist. The meditation room window is titled “Skyward” and is meant to reflect a simple, upward gesture. “If students will set a moral compass and grow, the sky is the limit,” Kemper says. Organ

The crowning glory of the building is a 55-f00t-tall, 3,184-pipe organ, designed and constructed by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders in Lake City, IA, named Opus 89. It is a rarity for architects and organ builders to work together from the beginning of a project, but this particular organ was designed specifically for this one-of-a-kind building.

By the Numbers n 65

feet high, 15,000-sq.-ft. building valued at $20 million tons of granite quarried in the Chinese mountains n More than 50 granite blocks shipped in 17 different vessels with each voyage taking 30 days n 20,000 square feet of cherry veneer millwork and 58-foot-2-inch tall wooden arches n More than 150,000 river pebbles were used in the meditation garden. n 3,184 pipes in the 55-foot tall organ n 9-foot concert grand piano made by Blüthner n 278

14  UTjournal  winter 2011

“I created nine organ designs for UT about four years ago,” says Lynn Dobson, the firm’s president and artistic director. “They chose the one I liked the best. To know what it looks like on paper and to see it now...It’s more beautiful than I’d hoped.” The organ was assembled in Iowa, then disassembled and shipped on three tractor trailers to Tampa. It took four weeks to reassemble, and six months to tune. A “first sounding” of the organ was held at the building’s dedication ceremony on Dec. 10. David Isele, composer-in-residence, and Haig Mardirosian, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, both took turns performing on the magnificent instrument. Their performance was met by a standing ovation. A week before the opening, Jenna McMahon ’11 saw the inside of the chapel for the first time. A member of the Resource Team for Faith, Values and Spirituality, McMahon is also the first student facilitator of Community Conversations. When she saw the building, she was amazed by its beauty and stilled by the calm she felt upon entering. “When you’re in a place like this, it makes you feel safe,” McMahon said. “This could be a place to come and forget about what’s going on in the world outside. It’s a place of peace.” UT For more information on the Sykes Chapel and upcoming programs, visit sykeschapel.

A graduating senior, Jenna McMahon is confident about her future. But like many UT students, she is actively seeking life’s higher purpose.

The Search

for Meaning By Jamie pilarczyk photograph by bob thompson


t’s not unusual for college students to wonder about their purpose in life. It’s a natural time to be inquisitive. And while Joseph Sclafani found a portion of UT students don’t follow this trend, he found most students are seeking a deeper meaning to life. “They are searching for identity in spirituality,” said Sclafani, a psychology professor at UT. Sclafani is one of a few professors researching students and spirituality on campus and is part of the Resource Team for Faith, Values and Spirituality. The team is part of the University’s efforts to meet students’ spiritual needs and help them in their search for a deeper meaning. This is just part of educating the “whole person.” UT exposes its students to a wide variety of philosophical traditions and issues to enhance critical thinking. At UT, Spartans come to a better understanding of diversity, world cultures and religions. Sclafani is researching the spiritual struggles of college students, a generation the current research refers to as narcissistic. The “Me” generation. Social media empowers young adults to profile their every move. From YouTube to Facebook, Sclafani said this generation is constantly searching for their 15 minutes of fame. UT students are no different, said Sclafani, who is at the beginning of his research on how these students focus on spirituality in terms of the search for the purpose and meaning in life. Sclafani said many of these students are coming from families with different values than those in the 1950s and 1960s. They spent less time together as a family unit and had a less structured religious upbringing. Without a foundation, many students search for meaning. Sclafani said they can start their search at the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values. “Now, we’ll have a place for people to express themselves,” Sclafani 16  UTjournal  winter 2011

said. “Those who are on the sideline will now have a place to explore for themselves.” Grounded

Those who have a strong faith foundation tend to be shaken the most when exposed to a diverse population in college, Sclafani said. But once shaken, they often become more solid in their beliefs, increasing their self-esteem and decreasing their self-consciousness. Lauren Jekowsky ’12, a criminology major, was raised by a Jewish father and a church-going mother, something she didn’t consider a traditional Christian home. Faith was not discussed beyond going to church. Her conviction in her Christian beliefs grew when she was in high school and a Christian friend witnessed to her during one of the toughest times of her life. “From the love she showed me that I hadn’t experienced elsewhere, I saw maybe there’s more to life,” said Jekowsky, who dove into leadership positions in youth ministry, leading camps, mission trips and Sunday night worship. When it came time to go to college, Jekowsky wanted to stretch herself. She left northern Virginia for Tampa. “I came to UT to challenge myself and be in a new environment,” she said. “I wanted to test my faith and my being in general.” Jekowsky struck out on her own, finding a church near campus and becoming involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization for which she is now the president. She said college is a time when you can choose to do anything with your life. She chose to remain strong in her faith. “One thing that helped me was surrounding myself with friends who were pursuing their faith with the same zeal,” Jekowsky said. That kind of fellowship is important to stay accountable, she said, no matter your beliefs. A place like the Skyes Chapel has the potential to serve as a central gathering place for

organizations like hers, and Jekowsky is looking forward to opportunities that she thinks will connect organizations on campus and form a bridge to outside organizations. “I think the chapel is going to be the most positive influence on all of the organizations on campus,” she said. “It’s not going to be a place that just sits empty. It is a mark of the presence of believers on campus, those who believe in anything. Because of its diverse use, it’s going to make its mark.” Opening Dialogue

James Taylor ’12 was raised Christian, but as he finished high school and entered college, he started to question those beliefs. Now he’s the president of UT’s Secular Student Alliance, a group with a mission to organize, unite, educate and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific rationality, secularism, democracy and human-based ethics. “Whether Christian, Catholic or Jew, UT has a group here to help support you,” he said. “They give you a place where you feel at home at a time when you particularly aren’t. I think that’s cool.” The presence of the chapel on a nonsectarian campus doesn’t bother Taylor. He sees it as a place where his organization could host guest speakers or special events. As a strong proponent of open dialogue, he thinks the chapel will be a good venue for this discussion — within organizations and among them. “I think everyone should be working on self-discovery and awareness, and I think UT definitely helps foster that,” said Taylor, a biology major. “It’s continuous education.” He remembers reading a quote from Socrates in his world literature class taught by Arthur Hollist. “We read that Socrates said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ I really believe that,” Taylor said. “There is not much point in being here if you don’t examine and question.”

“everyone should be working on self-discovery and awareness, and i think UT definitely helps foster that.”— james taylor ’12 Steven Geisz, associate professor and chair of the department of philosophy and religion, said many members of the UT community — students, alumni, faculty and staff — are not religious, or are religious but want to keep their religious and spiritual lives separate from what they do at UT. Geisz said the presence of a chapel on campus is less about serving religion and more about promoting ethics and values. “It’s very important to maintain a public space at UT for people to talk about ethics, values and the so-called ‘big questions’ without those conversations necessarily involving religion or spirituality,” Geisz said. “The faculty, staff and students who are involved in planning ‘Faith, Values, and Spirituality’ events on campus understand that, and they’re committed to integrating the chapel and its associated programs into campus life in a way that really benefits those who are interested in participating without marginalizing those who do not want to mix religion or spirituality into what they do at UT.” Programming Makes the Difference

Ryan Cragun, an assistant professor of sociology, surveyed more than 470 students to get a feel for the level of spirituality and religiosity on campus. It’s the first step in a three-part study to measure the impact the center will have on the UT community. His hypothesis is that the introduction of the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values is unlikely to increase the religiosity of students at The University of Tampa; however, the Sykes Chapel may facilitate the religious practice of currently religious students. Unlike Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams, Cragun said the chapel’s construction probably won’t have an if-you-build-it-they-will-come impact. With more than 100 churches within a 2.5-mile radius of campus, and with about 10 percent of students regularly

attending services, Cragun said the chapel probably won’t increase religiosity but might change where already religious students attend. “Will it have an effect on spirituality? That’s unknown, but it’s unlikely,” Cragun said. “It’s kind of like saying Plant Hall will increase spirituality. Buildings don’t do that. Programming does.” Cragun, like Geisz, serves on the 19-member Resource Team of Faith, Values and Spirituality that has been working since fall 2009 on creating diverse programs. The resource team’s mission is to strengthen UT students’ academic and personal development through characterbuilding, spiritual development and enhancement of their understanding of world cultures and religions. Stephanie Russell Holz, associate dean of students and director of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, has said that the initiative is bigger than the building. She wants students to engage in meaningful conversations and hopes to promote social justice, cultural inclusion, appreciation of diversity and the breaking down of barriers. “My personal goal is that the chapel enhances campus life for everyone, regardless of their beliefs,” she said. The resource team has successfully launched a Spirituality and Film Series, book club, values-based retreat and Community Conversations, which assembles faculty, staff and students into small groups for lunchtime conversations about a range of topics. The team is also collaborating with the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit, in building a successful and sustainable center of interfaith cooperation on campus. “This will really have the potential to integrate the chapel into our campus,” she said. “They’ll help us to grow a program sustainably.” A Place to Connect

Ruqayyah Ali ’14, a communication major from Orlando, is president of

the Muslim Student Association. She was raised Muslim and prays five times a day. She said she has experienced post-Sept. 11 anti-Muslim discrimination because of the visible sign of her faith — her head scarf. “Some people look at you like you’re a terrorist. Others treat you just like everyone else,” she said. “But I’m proud to be a positive representative of my faith in this way.” When she came to UT, bringing her faith with her was a big deal. At home she had a support network and the convenience of shared convictions. The temptations of college life, like the party scene, are definitely prevalent here, but her personal strength makes them disappear. “As long as I’m in sync with my religion, I’m fine,” Ali said. “I feel like I’m able to practice my faith here at UT.” After attending a spirituality and diversity conference offered by the University, Ali and a friend felt compelled to start the Muslim Student Association to have a place for Muslims to touch base with their faith. She’d like to see it grow like the organizations at the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida, providing community events, regular social gatherings and educational outreach like fast-a-thons to help non-Muslims understand the prayer of fasting during the month of Ramadan. As a freshman without a car, Ali has not been able to go to a mosque for weekly Friday prayers. She said she expects the Sykes Chapel will provide a place to pray, as well as a space to gather during holidays for celebratory events or to host lectures. “I think it’s a positive place,” Ali said. “For those who practice a religion, they want a place they can think of as spiritual. If you don’t practice a religion, you don’t have to go in. But everyone can claim it for their own.” UT UTjournal  winter 2011  17

By david hanson ’89 photograph by elizabeth kreutz

Taking a Sabbatical fromLIFE All in the Name of Research

After spending a number of years in academia, both as a student and an employee, I began to wonder — why do faculty take sabbaticals, but not other employees? So, as part of my doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania, I researched non-academic, or administrative, sabbaticals. My hypothesis was that Americans work too hard and take too little time off. Allowing employees to take sabbaticals lets them tackle new and exciting questions, return to school, perform public service, revisit a dream or write a book. Sabbaticals improve health, loyalty and productivity. Like most Americans, I started working when I was a teenager and have had at least one job ever since. I never took any real “break” from working or school (or, in most cases, from working and school at the same time, even at UT). Nearly 29 years of work and five academic degrees later, I found myself truly exhausted and slipping down a mountain of diminishing returns in all areas of my life — personal and professional — and at an alarming rate. Stress had sparked a number of changes and bad decisions in my daily life, including failing to exercise enough, eating too much take-out and gaining weight. Like most of us, I just needed a break. Many thought I was crazy, having been 18  UTjournal  winter 2011

offered a great promotion to a job with more money, greater authority and responsibility and, yes (of course), more stress. on the road

I asked myself, “Why are you not experiencing a sabbatical first-hand instead of simply writing about it?” So, I resigned my job, bought a plane ticket and traveled for three months across Europe and the United States. It was not until the third week of my sabbatical that my mind began to rest and forget about the details of daily life (many of which are really unimportant, like whether I remembered to wash the whites in hot water). I finally had time to absorb the world around me in new ways — allowing myself to see and experience people, buildings, foods, nature and even human commotion and interactions in ways that I had not experienced prior. More importantly, I had time to reflect and think about what comes next in my life. So, what did I learn? Whether you stay at home, volunteer in your neighborhood, or travel the world — it is vital to take time off to rest your body and mind — for longer than a week. As a nation, we work too much and too hard for too many hours. America is so young, which is perhaps why

Bob Becker ’66 in Bayou La Batre, La, where he works with shrimpers.


david hanson ’89 adopted Beasley, a beagle mix, after returning from his sabbatical. here he enjoys some downtime at Joe’s Coffee Shop in austin, TX.

we kill ourselves working: we are trying to make up for lost time. In nations with 2,000 years’ worth of history, their modern inhabitants seem to have the right frame of mind. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, so take time each day to enjoy life and all that you have. Life should not be all about work and collecting “things,” but about so much more. After traveling around the world, it became clear that many of us hard-working Americans simply don’t get it. We are so focused on being the best, brightest, strongest, that life slips by, stress increases and we miss the important things. BaCK To WorK

A few months after the end of my sabbatical, real life began to rear its ugly head again: deadlines, conference calls,

hanson and his partner, Phil hills ’88 (left), visited the abbaye aux hommes in Caen, France. Photo courtesy of david hanson.

planes, business meetings... But, having taken time off to rest, rejuvenate and reflect allowed me to cope more effectively with the details of everyday life. When daily stress gets a bit high, I can look at my blog [], contact the new friends I met on my travels, or just flip through my photo books. From a business perspective, taking time away on a sabbatical truly helped me build skills and become a more

Lessons Learned after traveling across eight countries, taking too many flights and taxis, and turning down too many hotel room beds to count, i pulled out my laptop on the flight home to reflect on what i learned during my sabbatical: ■ the world is huge and fascinating and should be experienced. ■ People are really not that different; their behaviors differ, and that’s a good thing. ■ Prague really may be the prettiest city on earth, but alas, i have not seen them all (yet). ■ A Bucket List is required in life. write one down and start tackling it bit by bit. ■ Scottish men really do wear kilts. And more men should do the same. Lighten up, guys. ■ Health is fundamentally important. work out and make good food choices. ■ Meditation is far harder than it looks. ■ Yoga helps free the mind and nimble the body. ■ People should be more considerate to one another; the world is tough enough. ■ Stress really clouds one’s judgment and inhibits good health. eliminate it the best you can. ■ write a blog when traveling (even for a week). it will reconnect you to old Ut friends. ■ Don’t hold onto grudges or bad feelings. they only bring you down. ■ Laugh as much as possible — and as often as possible, but not at others’ misfortune. ■ the French really do know how to live. Most of them take the month of August off. ■ taking time off can help put life into better focus. 20 UTjournal winter 2011

effective leader. The global perspective I gained while traveling aids me every day in my new company, since the organization will launch globally and having an understanding of other cultures, needs and habits is crucial in today’s business world. While we can read about other cultures, the best way to integrate global concepts into modern business is to experience them first-hand. Taking time away from work has also allowed me to reflect more often about how I use my time in my current job. Learning how to “step back” was a valuable lesson in my sabbatical, but I learned that stepping back does not need to be for several months; rather, it is possible to step back and reflect for 10-15 minutes during the workday to ask, “Am I engaged in activities that add value and make a difference to my company?” Before taking time away from the rat race, I had a harder time doing that successfully and was often caught up in lower-value activities. Training my American mind to slow down, stop, think and re-engage was one of the best skills I learned while taking time to “drop out,” and I use that skill every day now to add value not only to my business, but to all of the activities in my life. UT Editor’s note: David Hanson graduated from UT with a degree in marketing. Since then he has received his J.D., his M.Ed., his MBA from Emory, and his doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Austin, TX, and is CFO/COO for


UT helps veterans adjust from military to student life.

combat to classroom By robin roger photography by alex mcknight

Michael Morabito ’11 couldn’t feel the pain at first. His Humvee had just been destroyed by a roadside bomb on Tikrit-Kirkuk Road in Iraq, and he had been knocked unconscious for 5 to 10 seconds. When he came to, he was high on adrenaline. His unit was under attack. He had to get to work. ¶ Only later would he learn that his shoulder was injured so badly, he would need three surgeries to repair it. And that because of shrapnel from the bomb, he had suffered a mild traumatic brain injury that would still give him trouble three years later. ¶ As he sits in a classroom in the John H. Sykes College of Business at The University of Tampa, you would never know any of this. Morabito doesn’t talk much about his military experience. But he’s one of 139 veterans currently studying at UT. UTjournal  winter 2011  21

“They’ve seen war, but they want to experience the traditional college experience.” —Alfred Ayoub, veteran affairs liaison As the Iraq War wraps up its seventh year, and the War in Afghanistan goes into its ninth, many returning veterans are seeking to take advantage of expanded educational aid, such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. Across the country, universities are making concerted efforts to ease the transition from combat to classroom, and UT is no different. “Veterans are much like international students; they have different paperwork requirements and different life experiences,” says Monnie Wertz, associate dean of students. “We’re constantly looking for ways to make their experience better and their transition into student life easier.” What sets them apart

When he started at UT in spring 2009, John Helfert ’11 didn’t feel like he fit in with college students at all. At 30, he was older than the average student by almost a decade, and as a former marine, he wasn’t used to speaking his mind. Helfert had also experienced depression and post traumatic stress disorder stemming from his deployment to Iraq. “There weren’t a lot of veterans to talk to,” he said. “I felt isolated. I didn’t want to talk in class. Now I don’t shut up.” He met with Jennifer DelValle, associate director of the Academic Center for Excellence, who handles student disability services. ACE offers tutoring and disability services for all students on campus, and everything is confidential. Tutoring can be helpful in getting veterans, who may never have been to college or have taken only online classes, back in the game. The discipline and organizational skills acquired in the military can serve veterans well in an academic setting. They just need to learn to apply these skills to the college experience, says Janice Law, director of ACE. 22  UTjournal  winter 2011

Helfert started out in continuing studies, taking a few courses while working full time. He became a fulltime student so he could graduate this spring. This fall he was elected president of the new Student Veterans Organization. “The transition is rough,” he says. “We want vets to feel like they have a group of people to turn to for help with the transition.” The group will have monthly meetings, so veterans can socialize, express their needs and ask questions. Helfert said he hopes to have guest speakers, like someone from the Veterans Administration, UT alumni and faculty members. All veteran alumni are welcome to attend meetings and can contact the group at Helfert is also interning at the Florida branch of Vets4Vets, a group that aims to help veterans of the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. The group offers peer-to-peer counseling and training in Washington, D.C., for leaders like Helfert. Campus involvement

Like Helfert, some veterans try to get involved on campus to gain a sense of belonging. “A lot of them have had the online experience, and they didn’t care for that,” says Alfred Ayoub, assistant director of transfer admissions and veteran affairs liaison. “Many want the brick and mortar experience: joining fraternities, living on campus. They’ve seen war, but they want to experience the traditional college experience.” When Ben Bunn ’11 came to UT in 2009, he dove into campus life. Not only did he join ROTC, he is a head resident in ResCom residence hall and ran for Homecoming King this fall. “I wanted to immerse myself as a legitimate student,” he says. “It’s a very difficult transition. You’re constantly reminded you’re in an academic atmosphere.” Bunn, 28, is on the post-9/11 GI Bill.

He has been in the Army for 10 years and was deployed to Iraq three times. He joined at 17 when he was a senior in high school as a way to pay for college. “I knew I wasn’t mature enough to go right through school,” he says. “I had had enough of school at that point. I didn’t see a degree as valuable. I thought it was just a piece of paper.” He became a better student in the Army. When he got into special operations and started doing intelligence work, he found he needed to study to keep up with the competition, something he hadn’t done in high school. He had to learn new languages and radio antennae theory. When Bunn first started at UT, he was hired as a resident assistant. As an RA, he had to be a mediator, dealing with personal relationships. His most valuable asset from his military background is the ability to lead others. It helps that he has a loud, deep voice and a commanding presence, also thanks to the Army. This past summer, Bunn finished first out of 500 cadets at a summer ROTC training program in Washington state. There are currently 16 ROTC cadets with prior service records, nine of whom are combat veterans. For those without a college degree, ROTC offers the quickest route to becoming an officer. When students complete the program they are commissioned as 2nd lieutenants in the U.S. Army. “We want to be a place where veterans can come,” said Lt. Col. Robert Proctor, director of the ROTC program at UT. “They have something to offer us — their perspective, their experience. All of those soldiers had a lieutenant at some point.” Officers in Training

Danielle Robbins ’12 came to UT for its ROTC program. “ROTC is my life here,” says the Green to Gold scholarship recipient, who left active duty to attend college.

Morabito ‘11 returned from his deployment in Iraq on his daughter’s eighth birthday.

As the only paralegal for an entire battalion, Robbins ‘12 was on call 24/7.

Her two roommates are also in ROTC, and they practice marching in their suite in Straz Hall. When she first arrived, though, she was lonely. “In Iraq, I didn’t get any alone time,” she says. “When I came back and had it again, I wasn’t used to it.” Robbins was already a junior in college when she decided to join the Army. She was trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. Now that she’s served in Iraq, Robbins says she found her purpose, and she left it behind. Though she doesn’t want to practice law in the military — as a paralegal she worked in an office on a base and didn’t get to interact much with the Iraqi people — she knows she wants to stay in the military and help people. “You see things differently when you’re a soldier,” says Robbins, 25. “And when you go from being surrounded by soldiers, to being surrounded by civilians, it’s a difficult transition.” Being around other soldiers, even the ROTC cadets who have not yet served, has helped. Morabito, 32, says it can be difficult listening to people talk about the wars when they haven’t actually been to Iraq or Afghanistan. “They’re younger so they haven’t experienced as many things,” he says. “Their opinions tend to come from other people and from the media. They don’t have first-hand knowledge. I just let them talk and dig themselves so deep, and then I say, ‘Here’s the reality.’” He says some of the professors at the community college where he went were anti-military, so he kept his mouth shut and his head down. He hasn’t had that same experience at UT. But he still doesn’t bring it up often. “Being shot at in Iraq doesn’t add

UT’s Military Ties UT’s veteran student population is the fastest growing on campus with a 50 percent increase from fall 2009 to fall 2010. The University has done a number of things to make these students feel more welcome. UT waives up to 100 percent of tuition and mandatory fees for veterans – and their dependents – who are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program. For those who are Yellow-Ribbon eligible, the University waives the $300 deposit, and the standard application fee is waived for all veterans. UT also offers a generous transfer credit policy for military students, including credit for military service and correspondence and online courses. This year UT added a veteran student organization and a veteran orientation for incoming students. The University also created a veterans’ advisory board, with representatives from the Registrar, Dean of Students, Academic Center for Excellence, the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, Health and Counseling, Admissions, Graduate Studies, Career Services, Advising and the Office of the Baccalaureate Experience. Plans are in the works for a new Gateways-type course specifically designed to address the needs of veterans. Because of these efforts, the University has been named a Military Friendly School by Military Advance Education and G.I. Jobs magazine. UT has a long-standing relationship with the military. In 1940, the University began offering classes to train civilians in war-time skills. There was an aviation cadet program on campus around the same time. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 brought a wave of World War II veterans to campus, along with their families. There was married student housing in Plant Hall. In 1960, the University signed a contract with MacDill Air Force Base to offer courses there for active military. During the 1960s and ’70s, many Vietnam veterans came to UT under the Bootstrap Program, and in 1971, the Army ROTC battalion was established on campus.

to the classroom experience,” he says. “But being older, married and having a child helps me bring more experience to the table.” The traumatic brain injury has affected his focus and memory, but he has learned ways to compensate. “You learn to adapt,” he says. “My short-term memory is terrible, so I write everything down on my Blackberry. I don’t want special treatment. I’ve learned to take care of myself.”

To watch video of the veterans in action, go to

He wants to get his MBA in financial services, so he can get a job with the Department of Defense tracking terrorism funding. Even though most veterans say they don’t want special treatment, the support staff working with the students say it’s the least they can do to repay them for their service. “Our community has been so open and inviting about this crowd, and I’m proud of that,” says Wertz, associate dean of students. “These are people who are putting their lives at risk for us, and the least we can do when they come back is try to make it easier for them.” UT UTjournal  winter 2011  25

26  UTjournal  winter 2011

alumni report The scoop on your classmates and friends

in the Arenal rainforest. The entire project was designed to blend with the natural environment, leaving the forest virtually intact, and offering a bird’s eye view of a great diversity of plant and animal life. Monteverde

The Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica slept for hundreds of years before erupting in 1968.

Join Flat Sparty in Costa Rica Since we created Flat Sparty, he has seen the Sydney Opera House, walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and strolled through the Temple of Zeus. The original Flat Sparty prototype, however, has remained in Tampa. Although he enjoys hanging around campus, he has decided to take a trip of his own ... and you’re invited. This summer we’re planning a trip to Costa Rica for UT alumni and friends July 17-25. On this trip we will discover the “Treasures of Costa Rica” as we explore four distinct regions in this small Central American country. Central Valley

The first region is the capital of San Jose where we will venture out into the Central Valley to explore the world of coffee at the Britt Plantation. At the

plantation we will be escorted through the lifecycle of gourmet coffee from plant to cup. While in the Central Valley, we’ll also have the opportunity to spend some time in Sarchi, the arts and crafts capital of Costa Rica. Arenal

Our first stop in this region will be the Arenal Volcano, one of the 10 most active volcanoes in the world and a fascinating natural wonder. Don’t worry; we’ll be viewing it from a safe distance. One great benefit of having a volcano nearby is the natural geothermal heat that warms groundwater and creates natural hot springs. The hot springs are a great way to relax after a long day of adventure. The natural splendor of Arenal will be on display when we cross the Hanging Bridges

At 3,000 feet above sea level in the Tilarán Mountains of northwestern Costa Rica, isolated Monteverde is one of Costa Rica’s most famous places and a world-class example of conservation by a local community. Here we will take a guided walk with a park naturalist through the Monteverde Cloud Forest, where much of the forest is permanently covered in clouds due to high levels of humidity. The area is home to more than 450 orchids, 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 120 species of amphibians and thousands of plants. Manuel Antonio

Our tour of Costa Rica concludes with a relaxing time at one of the most scenic beaches in the country. Manuel Antonio National Park is a perfect combination of warm Pacific waters and rainforest that grows right down to the three white sand beaches. This area offers plenty of hiking trails where you’ll see several species of monkeys, iguanas, birds, and if you’re lucky, a three-toed sloth. For more information on the trip, including pricing and registration, please go to www.ut2011costarica. info or call the Alumni Office at (813) 253-6209. Do you have news to share? Contact Jay Hardwick, Alumni Director (813) 253-6209 UTjournal  winter 2011  27

alumni report

eDiTor’s noTe We received a note from Anthony Reeves ’91, who was disappointed we didn’t mention the historically black fraternities and sororities at UT in the “Greek Life” story in our last issue. Anthony was instrumental in bringing Alpha Phi Alpha to campus in 2002, and he has mentored a number of young men through his involvement. Here is a brief history of minority fraternities and sororities at UT: In its earliest days, the University was home to a fraternity that was meant to “further Latin American good will,” according to the book Story of the University of Tampa. That fraternity was Rho Nu Delta, which later became Theta Chi. In 1982 a chapter of Phi Beta Sigma was installed as UT’s first historically black fraternity. It left campus, but was reinstated in 1998. Delta Sigma Theta, a sorority founded by students at Howard University, joined UT in 2001, and Alpha Phi Alpha was installed in 2002. The next year, both Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation’s first black sorority, and Sigma Lambda Gamma, a Latina sorority, were chartered at UT. And in 2005, the Latin fraternity Sigma Lambda Beta was chartered. Sigma Gamma Rho, a historically black sorority, was chartered at UT in 2008.

class acts 60

Ermalou Roller published a book titled On Thundering Wings: Homosexuality, Love and the Church on Trial, about a Methodist minister put on trial by the church for performing union ceremonies for gay congregation members. (See page 33.)


Gary Cooper accepted the most prestigious library award in the field of public relations, the 2010 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. Cooper, who is working as the public and news media contact for the New Jersey State Library, received the award for his outstanding motivational campaign among the state libraries. E-mail: Pat Gillette opened Dog Gone Dirty Pet Wash Self Service in Tampa. She is a retired teacher for Hillsborough County, where she worked for 37 years. E-mail:


Jack Lamond started working for Selectrucks of Tampa, a division of Daimler Trucks North America – Freightliner. He is the new territory sales representative. He lives in Tampa. E-mail:


Diana L. Winoker MBA, senior vice president of investments for Wells Fargo Advisors, was recognized by Cam-

bridge Who’s Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership and excellence in wealth management for women and boomers.


Nancy Turner MBA published a book titled WINGS: Flying Over Highlands, Cashiers, Toxaway and Beyond with photography by Gil Stose. The book shows an aerial view of western North Carolina from the white water rapids of the Chattooga River to Mt. Pisgah on the Blue Ridge Parkway, highlighting the natural beauty as well as the impact of man. (See page 33.)


Richard McManus Jr. was promoted to senior vice president at Bank of America in Boston. He completed working on the Merill Lynch transition in June and is active in bringing the bank into compliance with the Basel II accord.


Dana (Crosby) Collier traveled with her spouse and their 8-year-old daughter, Bailey, to China to adopt three-year old Xia Collier. The newest addition to their family is a blessing and a joy. E-mail: Brian Reichberg was promoted to managing director at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. He resides in New York City. E-mail:


Hayley (Priede) Norman published a book titled The Career Compass, Mentoring to Point You Toward Maximum Professional and Personal Growth. The book reveals the winning strategies of successful mentoring relationships through a simple seven-step model that details the process mentors and mentees need to follow in order to forge a mutually satisfying and successful relationship. Maria Pisaneschi is working on her doctorate at the University of New Orleans. E-mail:


Pamela (Dawson) Johnston and her husband celebrated their 19th anniversary in March 2010. They met at UT. E-mail:


Jeff Steiner founded Versihold LLC, and his most recent patent pending product is the Versihold Personal Media Tripod. The tripod holds iPhones and other smart phones and will be sold exclusively by The Container Store in its 52 nationwide locations.

WHAT’s neW? Stay in touch by sending us your Class Acts. Go to today! Xia and Bailey Collier

28 UTjournal winter 2011


Jennifer Arzonetti was promoted to director at the Ernst & Young Los Angeles County location.


Randi Hoidalen Olsen and Vince Vanni, father of an ’03 grad, have started a new, family-friendly theatre company in Hernando County. Their first production was an original adaptation of the Anne of Green Gables story, Anne of Avonlea.


Christian Dion Adderley received a China Government Scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. in government economic policy and management. He will study Mandarin in Beijing for one year and will complete his doctoral studies at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. E-mail: Jennifer Holt married Sam Leoncini in June 2010, and they went on a cruise for their honeymoon. The couple lives in Pinellas Park, FL. E-mail: Myndee Fleury Washington is executive director of the Hernando County Fine Arts Council.


Barbara Little married Dennis Harsh at a small

dennis harsh and Barbara little ’00

spartan spotlight

Dr. Ellen Wallen ’84 Under the Microscope It may not be like it is on TV, but Dr. Ellen Wallen ’84 has seen plenty of mysteries unfold in her time as a forensic pathologist. After graduating from UT, she went to medical school and spent four years in the U.S. Army at Fort Campbell as a pathologist before settling in Johnson City, TN. “I’ve seen a lot of interesting things,” says Wallen, who spent four years working on autopsies for the state of Tennessee through a contract at East Tennessee State University. “It’s not as magical as ‘CSI,’ but it’s real people looking for evidence, and they’re not necessarily going to find the teeny-tiny pieces, but if they do their job right, they’re going to get what they need to solve crimes.” And making sure the pieces made sense is what Wallen was responsible for in her role. From natural causes to complicated and rare deaths, she has seen almost everything — even a bear attack in the Smoky Mountains that made national news. After investigators found an

elementary school teacher dead near the Little River in May 2000, they wanted to make sure the story they were being told by the woman’s exhusband was true — that bears had attacked her while she was fishing. “I determined that it was, in fact, bears that had killed her,” Wallen says. Eventually, Wallen decided not to make the high-profile, ever-demanding job her permanent career. Instead, she uses her pathology skills to check biopsies for cancer and other diseases. “Now, I’m looking at little pieces of the body instead of looking at the whole body like I was before,” she says. Wallen says her education at UT helped her through medical school and in the Army. Every little piece of her life and her career helped put together the overall picture of who she is today — much like she puts the pieces of human forensics together to help solve mysteries in real life — even if it’s not as glamorous as it is on TV. UTjournal winter 2011 29

alumni report

robert Cox and Kristin ferjo ’05

Megan Tingle ’10 (center) and her husband Wayne with students at the school

Becky (Kagan) schott ’04

where they work in nicaragua. (see below for note).

lake-side ceremony in Gainesville, FL, where they have resided since 2000. Barbara and Dennis met in 1998 while Barbara was attending UT. E-mail: R.J. “Jody” Meguiar was selected to deputy membership of the International Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay. DeMolay is a nonprofit Masonic-sponsored youth group. R.J.’s father, Jerome Meguiar ’65, became a deputy member in 2000 and advanced to active membership in 2007. This makes them the first father/son team of Supreme Council members in DeMolay’s 91-year history. Jody resides in Tampa. E-mail:


Megan (Triller) Tingle is serving as director of Centro Escolar LifeLink outside of Managua, Nicaragua. Centro Escolar LifeLink offers severely impoverished children the gift of hope and opportunity through education. To read about Megan’s time in Nicaragua, visit www. E-mail:


Jesse Landis, Missy Hurley ’04 and Kyle Parks MBA ’08 started their own marketing and public relations firm in Tampa called Bayview Public Relations.


Cindy Firestein moved to Jacksonville, FL, and started a new position at The University of North Florida as an academic advisor working in the Academic Center for Excellence. She is also finishing her master of education in student affairs counseling this year at Bridgewater State University. Cory Kauffman is engaged to Tricia Richelle Riordan, a kindergarten teacher. He is a broker/ salesman for Keller Williams Reality of Kansas City, MO. The couple is planning a July 16 wedding at The Pilgrim Chapel in Kansas City, MO.



Kristin Ferjo married Robert Cox on April 10, 2010. The couple resides in New Port Richey. Jharonne Martis MBA is director of consumer research for Thomson Reuters’ Proprietary

Becky (Kagan) Schott has started her own

WHo’s WHo on THe nAA BoArD? Visit for a full list of members. 30 UTjournal winter 2011

underwater production company called Liquid Productions and has already worked with Discovery, National Geographic, and her favorite, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She shot the first Discovery 3D documentary in Japan and later this year will be working on a project in Brazil. Her work has also aired on the National Geographic Channel in a show called “Amazing.” She resides in Pennsylvania.

Kella (Dawson) Swift received an MBA in finance from Strayer University in June. She resides in Woodbridge, VA. Elizabeth Weber married Patrick Higgins in August 2010 in Rocky Mountain National Park. The couple met in 2005 while in Japan. E-mail:

You Say You Want a Revolution (from left) Casey freeman ’01, alisa amaral ’02, stephanie day, heather arndt ’02 and nick antanavica caught up before watching the new england revolution take on the Columbus Crew in a Major league soccer game in september.

ella peters

Jordan Zimmer MBa ’08 and Colin Gerrard

Research Group in New York City. She is featured frequently on major news outlets such as CNBC giving her outlook on the retail industry.


Christian Collier is a family service advocate at Head Start in Chattanooga, TN, and a slam poet. He founded The Speakeasy, a weekly open mike hosted at a coffee house. Christian was featured in the Chattanooga Times’ “People to Watch” this October. James Mayo Green accepted an offer from the Bureau of Economic Analysis for a position as an economist with the Industry Sector Division. Jordan Zimmer MBA ’08 married Colin Gerrard Baesler in November 2009. Colin is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and professional golf management student at Florida Gulf Coast University. The couple moved to Fort Myers this fall. E-mail:

in physician assistant and has accepted a job at an endocrinology office. E-mail: Raubi Perilli helped launch an online lifestyle magazine for 20-somethings called Dive In Tampa Bay. Raubi is the managing editor and covers the Davis Islands neighborhood. Heidi (Hohmann) Peters and her husband welcomed sweet Ella Jane into the world on July 12,

A Room With a View (from left) stephen rosenbloom, lindsey delee ’06, Kim Caplis ’04 and andrew Maddock ’07 were happy to be on lower ground — the 65th floor—after visiting the ledges of the former sears Tower in Chicago. now named the Willis Tower, the building is 108 stories tall.

Flat Sparty’s European Vacation

Say He llo


In the last issue of the Journal, we had photos of Flat Sparty in a number of UT Sixt h in re ctors’ cu p locations, including Greece, Australia and New Zealand. This time wedihad fewer submissions, but one alumnus, Wes Champney ’80 sent an entire collection of photos showing Flat Sparty making the most of a recent trip to Europe. Wes posed with Sparty in the gardens outside Monet’s home in Giverny, in the Normandie region of France, and took Sparty to lunch at a café in Strasbourg. Sparty was such a good traveling companion, Wes decided to take him on the road to Munich, Germany in November. We’d love to add to the collection of Flat Sparty pictures, so keep ’em coming. Simply cut him out of your Spring 2010 Journal, or print page 23 of the issue online at E-mail digital photos to on a trip


Karen Alford MSN is in Sumatra working as a nurse practitioner on a medical river boat. Timothy Herrmann works at T. Rowe Price, and started in the MBA program at UT. Tanya Kirpalani graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a master’s of medical science

to Flat Sp artan

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UTjournal winter 2011 31

alumni report

spartan spotlight

Kelsey Stroop ’10 “Dolphin Tale” Leads to Big Break When rescuers saved Winter the dolphin in December 2005, they knew she had something special. But they didn’t know she’d become a star. And Kelsey Stroop ’10 had no way of knowing that the tail-less dolphin would lead to her big break. The film and media arts major is working on the set of the feature film “Dolphin Tale,” about the dolphin that was taken to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, fitted with a prosthetic tail and made into a worldwide sensation. “I’ve worked on some independent films and some advertisements, but nothing Hollywood,” Stroop says. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity, and I’m really lucky to have it, because there are a lot of people who wanted to work on this film.” Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr. and Kris Kristofferson star in the movie, which is set to be released in September 2011. Winter will appear as herself in the film, with animatronic dolphins filling in some scenes. The 32 UTjournal winter 2011

film’s production company, Alcon Entertainment, released “The Blind Side” last year. Stroop works as assistant to the director, Charles M. Smith, who played Terry “the Toad” in 1973’s “American Graffiti” and directed “Air Bud.” As his assistant, she does just about anything Smith needs, from getting coffee to going grocery shopping to making script changes. One morning in October Smith added dialogue to one section, so Stroop made the changes to the script and made sure everyone had a copy of it. Stroop heard about the job through Tom Garrett, assistant professor of communication, who was called by the production office. They were looking for recommendations, and he recommended Stroop, who interviewed and got the job on the spot. “Just showing up is so important,” Stroop said. “It’s something that was definitely driven home at UT. Showing up and working hard and showing people you’re invaluable.”

2010. Ella weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. The family resides in Land O Lakes, FL. Charles Powell III was accepted into the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business Evening MBA Program and started classes this fall. E-mail: Daniel Reynolds helped start a new ad agency called Fusion Marketing Group. He is working on his MBA and M.S. in marketing at UT. Amanda Santos finished her master of arts degree in mental health counseling from Rollins College and moved to Chicago, IL, to start a career as a therapist. This April she will marry R. Scribner Malloni, whom she met in Tampa. E-mail: AmandaCSantos@gmail. com Amy Stephens married Ronald Berry Jr. this July in Winter Park, FL, and they went on their honeymoon to the Dominican Republic. The couple lives in Hallandale Beach, FL. E-mail:


Christine Falconi was promoted to a full-time position in entertainment at Walt Disney. She is a former dancer at UT. She resides in Orlando. E-mail: Marco Guadagnini opened a

Christine falconi ’08

MinAreT MoMenT reVisiTeD

minaret moment


’s in stor


The Univer sity used where to have studen a schoo ts sold of the l store penna day are in the nts, beanie clearly taken s and other Plant Hall Music on displa in the y here, Room, schoo more inform 1940s. Anyon and by e who the looks l gear. The fashio ation on of it, this the schoo recognizes a ns classm photo l store, ate in can e-mail the photo, was public or has info@u

Patricia (Tallant) Hare ’48 called in to say she was in the last Minaret Moment photo, and she knew five other people in the photo, which was taken in the school store (now the Music Room). She identified herself, as well as Ernest “Chub” Ellsworth Garrison ’48, Lila Mae Moody ’48, Philip DiBona, Manuel Alvarez ’47 and Louise Aparacio. Cheren Knopf Goodwin wrote to say her father, the late Richard Howard Knopf, was also in the photo. James Albert McNab ’49, sent a nice note adding four more names to the list: Joe DiBona, Harold “Bud” Williams ’40, Bill Sadler and William “Skinny” Antonini ’52. “What a wonderful picture!” he wrote. “And what wonderful memories it brings back. Thank you for including it in the Fall UT Journal.” 68  UTjour

nal Fall 201 0

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Kick-off to the Holidays roger (left) and renate Capper enjoyed the festivities at the Victorian Christmas stroll with their daughter, Tanya Capper ‘11, and even did some early holiday shopping in the museum gift shop. Tanya will be graduating in May with a degree in nursing.

new restaurant, Salute, in downtown Sarasota this fall. Priscilla Hammett works in the Macroeconomic Analysis Division of the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C., and started a graduate degree program part time at Johns Hopkins University this fall. Deborah Leyva, RN, BSN, was named clinical solutions executive for Nuvon, the leader in next generation medical device data integration and interoperability solutions. Whitney Noble was named

sports information director at Lees McRae College in North Carolina.


Taylor Flatt was hired as the assistant sports information director at the University of West Alabama. Taylor was also named in the Bleacher Report’s list of “The Top 10 Most Over-Excited Announcers Ever” for his announcing of a home run by Mike Blanke ’11, which ignited a 20-3 victory for UT. Santiago Iniguez Flores got a job working for the Mexican government. He is the chief of the department designing reaction

Two alumni recently published books: On Thundering Wings: Homosexuality, Love and the Church on Trial by ermalou roller ’60 WINGS: Flying Over Highlands, Cashiers, Toxaway and Beyond with photography by Gil stose, by nancy Turner MBa ’83

models for different crimes committed in Mexico City. He analyzes the M.O. of delinquents in organized crime, such as grand theft auto, felonies like assault and theft.


Air National Guard Airman Alyssa R. Antone graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX. Hannah Duprey volunteered from October to December 2010 in Guatemala, harvesting organic coffee and teaching English at Comunidad Nueva Alianza. Caitlyn Mitryk was hired at UT as the assistant sports information director for the 2010-11 season. Caitlyn will assist with all the sports and will also be the main contact for sports designated at a later time. Nam Siu was one of 16 college students chosen to participate in the Woods Hole Partnership Education Program last summer, which encourages underrepresented groups to conduct research in the marine and environmental sciences.

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A marine science and biology major at UT, Nam is now enrolled at graduate school in Western Washington University.

in MeMoriaM Edwin “Red” Means ’38 Mark M. Shine ’38 Betty S. Brennan ’42 Cecil Bennett Reed ’42 Jesse Broadus Norman ’49 Carroll Eugene Fogal ’51 William H. Johnson ’52 Larry Siegel ’54 Faye I. Wheatley ’57 Major James Lee Bonnette ’60 Nicholas George “Dr. Nick” Maragos ’64 Medora Wallace ’64 Catherine Crowder Church ’69 Frank Nelson Pernas ’72 Robert W. Weary Jr. ’72 JoAnne Swett Williams ’73 Dorothy Montgomery Williams MED ’77 Anita Scharf ’84 Sue (Gonzalez) Gabbert ’89 David N. Collins ’92 Hamad A. Al-Mekairish ’07 Douglas J. Kozar ’09

UTjournal winter 2011 33


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alumni report




reunions 7 34 UTjournal winter 2011

photographs by kimberly photography llc, Jessica



6 UT held Homecoming Weekend Oct. 14-17 and graduates




attended events such as the Decade of the ’50s Luncheon (1) and the Decade of the ’60s Reunion (2). The Alumni Barbecue (4 and 5) welcomed alumni from all years, including those celebrating their 10-year reunion (3). Jim Glover MBA ’06 (8) accepted


Leigh and melanie R . munger ’10

the award for the first alumni finisher at the Spartan Challenge 5K (6). The President’s Reception on the verandah (7) kicked off the weekend.

8 UTjournal  winter 2011  35

brick by brick HoW suPPorters imProve tHe ut eXPerienCe

common good

WHY I GIVE: Kim Morris Kim morris with a skeleton she uses to teach her athletic medicine courses.

told the student to go see this woman. He then apologized profusely for interrupting the interview. And I said “No, that was perfect.” I wanted to be some place where the student comes first. Q: What do you like about the students? a: Students are attracted here because

they want to be someplace where they can learn directly from the person with the knowledge, not from a graduate assistant. It’s always interesting when I have someone who transferred from USF, and they talk about sitting in a lecture hall with 300 students and you’re way too intimidated to speak to a professor. They’re here because they want that access. I’m here because I want to look in their faces when I’m teaching and be able to say, “Are you with me?” And if they’re not, rephrase it, and teach them again. Current Profession: Assistant Professor

of Athletic Training and Clinical Coordinator for the Athletic Training Educational Program at UT Q: How long have you taught at ut? a: I started working at UT in 1983

as the head — and only — athletic trainer, providing the athletic medical care for every team on campus. I was asked to begin teaching in 1991 and, as students became more interested in athletic medicine, created a minor and internship program. With dedicated students and great clinical experiences the program expanded and advanced. Now we have a major and nationally accredited program in athletic training/sports medicine and 36 utjournal WINTER 2011

are known for turning out professionals with strong success on the national boards. I love receiving those phone calls wondering if there might be a UT graduate looking for a job or graduate program placement. Folks just like those UT grads. Q: Why did you choose to teach at ut? a: When I first interviewed here I was

sitting in an office. A student walked up to the door and the gentleman I was with said “Excuse me,” turned to the student and said “Hey, Johnny. What’s going on?” He was having a financial aid problem, so the man called up a woman in Financial Aid, called her by her first name, asked a question, used the student’s name, not a number, and

Q: Why do you think it is important to give back to ut? a: We attract these students who want

to be engaged and active, but some of them struggle to afford the University, and take out huge loans to have this type of setting, especially in my field, as our students have to do a tremendous amount of clinical work. Therefore, there is not enough time to get an outside job. So that was my impetus. We always grumble and say “We ought to have more scholarship dollars for these students who we want engaged and doing clinicals and research.” But that money doesn’t just come out of the air. So I realized that if I’m going to say we should do more, I need to put my money where my mouth is and do more.

“I wanted to be some place where the student comes first.”

—Kim Morris Assistant Professor of Athletic Training

New Board of Trustee Members The UT Board of Trustees has added three members and four ex-officio members. Thilo D. Best is chairman and CEO of Horizon Bay Retirement Living in Tampa. He was chairman of the board for the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing and Care Industries from 2003 to 2005. He is an executive board member of the American Seniors Housing Association and a member of the board of directors for the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute Foundation in Tampa. In 2007 he was recognized by Ernst & Young as the Florida Entrepreneur of the Year in health services. Gary W. Harrod is CEO of HarThilo D. Best rod Properties Inc., which he founded in 1990. Harrod Properties has been involved with the development of more than 17 million square feet of office and industrial space. Recent projects include the Bardmoor Palms, renovation of the former Eckerd Drug headquarters and Cypress Bay Corporate Center in the Westshore area. James K. Murray Jr. serves as Gary W. Harrod chairman of Murray Corp., a private merchant company. He began his career in life insurance in 1956 and became a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable. He was one of the founders in 1970 of a company that would become HealthPlan Services. In 1995 HealthPlan Services became a publicly traded company. Murray retired James K. Murray Jr. in 2000. He serves on the boards of Parses Inc. and Canterbury Towers in Tampa, the Tampa Bay Research Institute in St. Petersburg and Sykes Enterprises. New ex-officio members include Sandy Harris, president of the Chiselers; Jacqueline A. Buckler, chair of the Board of Fellows; Natalie Sidor, chair of the Board of Counselors; and Gregg H. and Pamela Rosen, chairs of the Family Association. For a complete listing of trustee members go to www.

gifts in honor and in memoriam Gifts made from June 1-Oct. 11, 2010.

In Memory Braulio Alonso George and Barbara Pennington Sam Bailey Alfred and Beverly Austin George and Barbara Pennington Rita Bodo Joseph Bodo Jr. Warren M. Cason Alfred and Beverly Austin Admiral Leroy Collins Jr. Reginald and Patricia Colvard Alfred and Beverly Austin Nancy Fogarty Alfred and Beverly Austin Maurice Haddad The Borrell Family Foundation Toni Iacovelli Patricia Altavilla Maureen Barry Mary Caleagnini Vito and Jennie Camarda John Cheevers Ann Contento James and Georgann Crotty David Dekar Yvonne Delvecchio Pasquale Del Santo James and Nancy Fields Thomas and Antoinette Herman Anthony and Beverline Iacovelli William and Diane Kornfeind

Gloria Latessa John Lilleston Bobby Mastro Dawn McGovern Nadine Mescia Gerald and Dorothy Miller Maria Montabault Clara Montabone David and Brenda Nedbalski Harry Nuss Tom and Arlene Powell Constance Roma Robert and Iris Rudin David and Mary Lou Sparks Sysco Dominick and Margaret Tammetta Josephine Terregroosa Edward and Sylvia Testani Gilda Tompkins Frank Valletta Charles and Joann Wage The Zade Family Anita Scharf Paul and Georgia Danahy George M. Steinbrenner III Alfred and Beverly Austin The Chiselers Inc.

In Honor Bob and Aida Calafell Rob and Judy Calafell Thomas Giddens Dayle and Lenny Spiewak Anne and Arnie Pike Jackie and Janet Epstein Leslie and Michael Goldberg

New Endowed Scholarship Robert and Aida Calafell Memorial Endowed Presidential Scholarship

UTjournal  winter 2011  37

brick by brick

leaving a legacy

Good Advice for Confusing Times When it comes to planning your financial future, do you feel like you’re planning a cross-country journey without a map? You are not alone. Today there are more unknowns when it comes to our financial and estate plans than any time in recent memory. Is this the best time ever to invest, or the worst? Are my income taxes going to go up or down? Will Social Security be available for me? Is the Estate Tax going to come back? Wouldn’t it be great to know someone who already knows the best road to take? Our busy lives make it difficult to keep up with the complexities of markets, laws, taxes and financial news. In this environment, good financial, legal and tax advice is more important

friends to have, because they are both experts on a topic that is important to all of us: money. Mike and Jack recently led financial planning seminars for UT in Tampa, Winchester, MA, and Atlanta. They help their clients plan for retirement while budgeting for a current lifestyle that is both comfortable and within their means. “With a financial plan, you’ll be better able to focus on your goals and understand what it will take to reach them,” Jack says. Financial professionals possess the wisdom that comes from observing what has happened in the past. Over the years, they have seen which advice has been most helpful to their clients. Most experts agree that the worst of

“with a financial plan, you’ll be better able to focus on your goals and understand what it will take to reach them.” —jack beatty, certified financial planner than ever. That is why it is so important to have good advisors. Knowing a good attorney and Certified Financial Planner (CFP©) is a great place to start. Two of our close friends are Jack Beatty and Michael Turrisi. Both are good

38 utjournal WINTER 2011

the “Great Recession” is over. The shock of the last few years paralyzed many of us, and kept us from making long-term plans. If you were waiting for a nudge to revisit your financial plans, here it is. Right now is the perfect time to pick up the pieces and reevaluate retirement, savings and estate plans. “In this day and age, with everything being so complicated — and everyone being overwhelmed by the information they get from TV news, the Internet and magazines — it’s difficult to know where to get the correct information, and how to use it to plan for the future,” says Michael. An attorney will help you create an all-

important will or trust to protect your family, and a financial planner will help you use and invest your money wisely. Achieving peace of mind is the goal of good planning. “It’s like preparing for a trip that you’re going to take in six months,” Michael says. “If you plan early, buy your plane ticket, reserve your hotel, you’ll have the peace of mind that when you’re ready to go, everything is done.” Planned giving seminars

The Office of Planned Giving can provide resources to help you find peace of mind. The Institute for Estate and Financial Planning presents seminars in Tampa and other parts of the country. These spring seminars will be offered on the following dates: ■ Passport to Retirement, Tampa, FL, Feb. 1, 3 and 9 ■ Estate and Healthcare Planning, Winter Park, FL, Feb. 22 and March 22 ■ Blueprint for a Successful Retirement, Newton, MA, March 31 For more inFormation

For more information on selecting a financial and legal advisor, visit the following links: Financial Planners ■ ■ Estate Planning Attorneys ■ Florida Bar: ■ Martindale Hubble: ■ American Bar Association: Need more information? Contact Bill Roth Director of Planned Giving (813) 258-7373

Walter Johnson ‘14 was one of 35 students who called alumni on behalf of the annual fund.

the annual fund

UT’s Telethon Walter Johnson, a freshman performing arts major with a minor in mathematics, made the first phone call this year for UT’s Annual Fund phonathon. “It was nerve racking making that first call,” Johnson said. “But I was very excited to begin having conversations with alumni about their time at UT.” For Johnson, the phonathon seemed like the perfect job. He immediately saw the position as an opportunity to learn from alumni and parents about their experiences with UT. During training, Johnson and the 34 other UT phonathon callers learned about UT’s history, new initiatives on campus and the funding needs of the University. The most interesting part for Johnson was learning about the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values. “I have watched all the finishing touches be put on the building, and it was neat to get an inside look at the programming that will be housed in there,” Johnson said. “I am excited that

it will serve all different religions and help students like me explore the many different cultures here on campus.” So far, Johnson has begun all of his phone conversations by telling alumni that if he had to describe UT in one word it would be “exciting.” He says he has been on campus for a semester now, and there is never a dull moment. He loves that there is always something to do and get involved in. Johnson then asks alumni, “What’s your word?” “If you ask five alumni, ‘What word best sums up your UT experience?’ you’ll get five distinct answers,” Johnson says. “I have heard everything from ‘memorable’ to ‘fulfilling’ to ‘helpful,’ and I even got one ‘freedom!’ Freedom made me laugh.” Johnson, a self-proclaimed Georgia boy, has lived half his life in Cocoa Beach, FL. He says many different aspects brought him to UT. “I chose UT based on its student-toteacher ratio and the rich history and beauty of the campus,” he said. “I love

the tradition of Plant Hall juxtaposed with the more modern facilities like the Vaughn Center. I also run track and cross country, so UT’s excellent athletic reputation was a big draw for me.” Johnson wasted no time getting involved with various activities on campus. Besides being a UT phonathon caller, he is also an active member of UT’s dance program. This fall he participated in UT’s Fall Dance Happening, a traveling dance program that begins inside Falk theatre and travels all over the campus. “I love doing things that make others smile or laugh,” says Johnson. “That is why I am studying performing arts. Performing is where my heart is.” But Johnson also realizes that a career in performing arts can be difficult to pursue. So he has chosen to minor in mathematics and believes he might one day be a teacher. “I think being a teacher will still give me a chance to make people smile and laugh, but also give me the opportunity to make an impact on students’ lives,” he said. As much as he tried, Johnson couldn’t sum up his favorite part about the phonathon into a single word. “I love to hear the stories people share about their time at UT,” he said. “But more than that, I love knowing I am teaming up with alumni and parents to make a difference on campus. I benefit from the Annual Fund every day. I know without the support of alumni and parents that things like UT’s dance program, the track team and scholarships might not be available for future UT students. I am grateful for their help, and this job gives me the opportunity to personally say thank you.” Need more information about the Annual Fund? Contact:Taylor Pinke, Annual Fund Director; (813) 258-7401 utjournal WINTER 2011 39

minaret moment

AT EASE Members of UT’s 18th College Training Detachment take a break from training to pose outside Plant Hall on July 8, 1943. The detachment was in residence at the University for one year and prepared Army cadets for aviation. This photo was a gift from Robert Emick (in the center), via his granddaughter Rebecca Vanover ’08. Emick was stationed at UT for training with the Army Air Force, and he bunked in Plant Hall. After training, Emick ended up as a navigator on the B-24, known as the “Liberator.”



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Students participating in Energii 2010, UT’s one-day wellness symposium on Nov. 5, do Tai Chi by the Hillsborough River.

Profile for The University of Tampa

UT Journal 2011 Winter Issue  

Alumni and friends magazine of the University of Tampa

UT Journal 2011 Winter Issue  

Alumni and friends magazine of the University of Tampa